Photo Flick Nr. 30

Photo taken in August 2020.

2020 has been nothing more than Schietwetter, a term described by Frisans as shit weather with rain, winds and flooding. Even when the tides are down at Ebbe, nature can show it’s many sides and force you to prepare for the unexpected. This photo taken at Nordstrand is typical of this Schietwetter in the literal sense, yet it can be applied to the events of 2020 in a figurative sense. And like the Frisans who lived along the North Sea coast, the only thing to do to survive it is through endurance and strength. This is what we need right in order to survive the rest of this year, and possibly beyond…..

A Note to Those Wishing for Trump as President

muffin with miniature us flag and coke bottle placed on white table
I found this message through a friend of a friend and it has been floating around in social media lately. It has to do with the current situation the US is facing on multiple counts and the misinterpretation of those who have been vying for peace and the restoration of law and order, but also equality among all groups regardless of race and background.  After watching both conventions-Democratic and Republican, it’s time to set things straight about those who are misinterpreted as anarchists but have a message to the people who labeled them as such- most notably those who are conservative and plan to vote for Trump in November, but also those who are not sure which of the Presidential candidate to choose because of all the chaos. 
Read this message and feel free to spread it. It will help you decide better:
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I believe in a growth mindset so I watched most of both conventions and I listened, actively listened.
  • They say the current left candidate leaning want to disband police departments (and that we hate the police): we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and unnecessary police brutality and for those who abuse their power to be held accountable.
  • They say we want to release all prisoners: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and ensure the punishments match the crimes and to deprivatize prisons.
  • They say we want open borders: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want asylum seekers to be given their chance to seek asylum. We want to help people who are coming from unimaginable terror and poverty help to give them the chance we have. We want to ensure children aren’t separated from their parents and that nobody is kept in cages. But we do want proper vetting.
  • They say we want to take away your guns: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want logical gun control to help prevent mass shootings.
  • They say we want to wage a war on Christianity and Christian values: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want people of all religions to be able to practice and worship freely.
  • They say we want to get everything for free: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to work hard and make sure that healthcare and education are affordable for all.
  • They say we want a war against traditional marriage: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want people of all sexual orientations to be able to love freely, no matter who you love.
  • They say we want to destroy or rewrite history: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to recognize the ugly parts of our past and do everything we can to say “that’s not okay, let’s not honor those aggressors, let’s not let those things happen again”.
  • They say we want to take away your constitutional rights: we don’t, that’s a lie. We choose to believe science and wear masks and try to prevent the spread of this disease.
  • They say we are somehow involved or are not doing our part to end the horrific human trafficking, that’s a lie and quite frankly the most absurd one I have heard yet. I have not spoken to one human who does not want this stopped now. A very large left backed non-profit is making huge strides in ending actual real life cases and bringing victims home.
  • They say we hate America: we don’t, that’s a lie. We just recognize our faults and want us to do better, be better.
Stop with the us vs. them. Our position is one of empathy, compassion, and logic. Please stop believing the hype. Stop with the division.
Just because we want equality for all doesn’t mean we want to take anything away from you. There is plenty of love to go around my friends, if we open our hearts and minds and question what our gut is telling us to rethink.

 

 

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Some food for thought as we are two months away from making the most important decision in our lives- something that will determine which direction the US and the world are going.

 

 

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“Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before” Dalai Lama As I got very slack at keeping this updated, and since I’ve been back in Abu Dhabi for a few days now doing nothing but work, I decided to share my experience of Cologne in Germany. I decided that I wanted to go to […]

via Christmas Markets, Cologne — RoseScriptTravel

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For the first time ever, the 2020 Cologne Christmas markets will not take place. After weeks of consideration, if and how the markets can be arranged in the times of the Corona virus, the management of the market, which takes place at Roncalliplatz and other parts of the city decided it was too risky to carry out. “We do not want people to get sick and have Cologne become a hotspot, says Monika Flocke, director of the Cologne Christmas Market in an interview with NTV. “We don’t want to take the risk and become another Ischgl.” Over 5 million people visit the Christmas market every year, which you can see in the guest article posted above.

Germany is in the midst of a second wave as many residents are returning from their summer vacation, thus facing a risk of a second lockdown similar to the first one in March. Already rollbacks in restrictions are being considered and many businesses are fearing for the worst should the lockdown happen for a second time. Experts are warning that a pandemic-depression could happen and if so, it could take 2-5 years until the economies can recover from the pandemic.

More to follow…….

Originally posted on Architecture Here and There: View of downtown Wuppertal from the city’s famous “flying train.” (MoMA) This old video, just over two minutes in length, takes viewers through the western German city of Wuppertal, population 354,382 (almost double that of Providence), on a “flying” or “floating” train a year after its completion in…

via Fly train through Wuppertal — The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles

Denkzettel on all people alike: Don’t argue with a MAGA

Flags

Being an American and having lived in Germany for over two decades now, I’ve been amazed at the differences that the US and Germany have had and that the gap between the two countries has widened- to the benefit of the Germans.

However, in light of the upcoming US Elections, and all the dirty laundry that has come about from both sides of the line, there is one thing that Germans love doing, which is talking politics- especially trying to understand why Trump is “loved” by so many when all he is about is being a conman.

If there’s a word of advice to give to all German journalists, I can only give you this: Don’t try to understand him. Don’t try to ask why. Don’t use the topic of Trump for your talk shows and lastly (but most importantly):

Don’t argue with a MAGA. 

MAGA stands for Make America Great Again, the slogan that was used in Trump’s successful 2016 Presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton, and it’s being reused again in this campaign, as the Republicans- going without a campaign platform- are trying to keep Trump in his post at the expense of Joe Biden, despite his overall disapproval of over 65% of Americans both in the States and abroad.

The words MAGA and  (the German) Macke are similar in pronunciation, yet when looking at a typical person wearing a MAGA hat and behaving like one, one can say that the definition of the two words are the same.  “Eine Macke haben” means that the person is insane and has “fallen off his rocker.” He’s illogical, has a short fuse and carries out actions without thinking of the consequences.

Donald Trump wearing a MAGA hat during his 2016 campaign. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

The term MAGA is coined as a person who supports President Trump in all aspects. Aside from wearing MAGA apparel, as seen in the picture above, MAGAs are people who are less educated, less exposed to people of different color or background and less aware of the events that are affecting them, such as global warming and our current problem with CoVid-19. These people are not willing to accept change and would rather see the USA go on its own in terms of international policies and commitments.  They follow alternative news sources instead of the Big Five as they provide stories that fit their thinking while the big five produces “fake news” The less exposure and education, the more ignorant. And the more ignorant, the more likely they will follow Trump despite his numerous shortcomings:

The most alarming signs that you are entangled with a MAGA is when they say the most absurd comments, including discrediting stories that are happening that harm the image of Trump. Here’s a sample of such bogus remarks:

These are people who really “have a Macke” when it comes to having Trump in power. Evangelicals even perceive Trump as the Lord Himself, even though he has yet to prove that he can walk on water.

And believe me, no one can do that except Jesus.  😉

silhouette of person standing on beach during sunset
Photo by Lukas Rodriguez on Pexels.com

Going back to the discussion of MAGAs:

One of the key flaws of a MAGA is when they close their eyes to reality and ignore the criticism that is being made by the outside. They counter with claims that it’s not true (and in many cases, ferociously). They can sometimes be violent. With that, they can either retaliate to a comment said by a critic of Trump or they pick a fight with someone who is either a foreigner, dark-skinned, anti-Trump or a combination of the three.  When asked about what they see in Trump or the problems he has created, they try to waffle around the question and not answer it- or they answer the question but without critical thinking. Sometimes they point fingers at others just to save themselves.

And this takes us to this documentary released by German public TV station WDR on August 24th. Hart aber Fair (Hard but Fair) is a talkshow that looks at politics from all angles, both in Germany as well as outside the country, with some themes dealing with the US. Created in 2001, Frank Plasberg has been hosting the show and is known for some of his hardest questions on his toughest clientel.  His most recent talkshow looks at the US at the crossroads because of the elections that take place on November 3rd. Some of the points brought up in this 75-minute show included the following:

The State of the US during Trump’s four years in the Oval Office

The Problems with Racism in the USA

How the US has handled Covid-19 to date

The Relation between the US and Germany (let alone Europe)

Talks of Manipulating the Elections in 2020

What would happen if Trump was reelected

Would Trump leave quietly if he loses the Elections

The Direction of the US after the Elections, no matter who wins

The guests of the show were diverse, from journalists and political scientists to a stand-up comedian whose new German word “Arschlochigkeit” will surely appear in the Duden Dictionary in the next edition.

Plasberg’s biggest mistake was inviting a MAGA to speak at his talkshow. George Weinberg chairs the Republicans Overseas group, based in Germany. Over nine million Republican Americans live overseas with a small fraction living in Germany. Weinberg matches the typical characteristics of a MAGA:

A white man of 60+ years

A staunch supporter of Trump- and it showed during the whole talk show

Very aggressive in terms of his body language and reactions to the criticism

Evasive to the questions and “gun-happy” regarding deferring blame onto others

And the cherry on the cake was his swipe at Plasberg by telling him not to compare Trump to Adolf Hitler when only 63 million Americans voted for him. That comment in itself had absolutely no relevance and it was a slap in Germany’s face because of its past.

The show was very intense and could best be compared to a standoff between police and rioters where one small action could result in a bloodbath- similar to the nationwide loot and burn protests in connection with George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May.  It was one where even the typical American expat voter was close to going through the TV to get at one person or another.  That part I will leave as that.

George Weinberg’s reactions during the show is typical of a MAGA. A person who is closed-minded, ignorant, hostile, evasive and one who would stand behind Trump no matter what happens. Seeing the pictures of events and encountering the questions by Plasberg caused his blood pressure to skyrocket without having to think about these themes clear and thoroughly.  Yet these are the behaviors that we have been seeing in social media already. Whenever a person posts something critical of Trump or contains scenes in connection with the dire states of the US, at one point or another, a MAGA in the network or a social group attacks it with rage, bashing the person who posted it to begin with. The events spiral out of control with mudslinging and insults, culminating into a person being blocked or worse, attacked in person. In some cases, a MAGA could ask the person to cease and desist on the posting.

Still, threats should not influence you from stating your opinion on such matters. You do have the right to ignore them and tell the person to lay off.  I learned of one trick I did to someone who was bashing my posts: “It’s my right to post because it’s my freedom of speech. If you don’t like what you see, either ignore it or leave.”  After a couple times, the word got around and those who have been critical have left me be.

And this should apply to dealing with MAGAs. While there may be some people who are tired of Trump’s tirade and would rather see Joe Biden run the country after making the mistake of voting for Trump in 2016 (and I forgive you if you learned your lesson), the majority of MAGAs, both in the USA and abroad are sticking to their poison in 2020 because they believe he is the choice for them.  These people are potentially dangerous when talking politics with them and will stop at nothing to ensure they have it their way with Trump. If having MAGAs instill violence during peaceful protests in large cities in the US and having an armed militia storm a state governmental building to force lifting the Corona lockdown is not enough, obviously you haven’t followed the news coverage of CBS, CNN, NBC, ABC and Fox- the big five networks- lately.

And with that, a word of advice to Plasberg, as well as the likes of Susan Link, Anne Will, and all the talkshow hosts of the ARD and ZDF family as well as private channels, like RTL, ProSieben/Sat 1, Vox and all: If you want to talk American politics and specifically Trump, do the world a big favor and do NOT invite a MAGA to your next show.  As we saw in the Hart aber Fair show, reasoning with a MAGA and stirring up anger among the guests and the audience is a waste of time and energy- something that can be used for other themes that are constructive and useful to everyone.  I’ve stopped talking politics with my father (who is also a MAGA and I’m a Democrat) a long time ago because there was no middle ground on any of the themes. We’ve gotten along well ever since.  By not inviting a MAGA and discussing politics with them, you will see that the person’s illogical advice is not welcomed and perhaps, just maybe that person will think about these themes carefully and alone. We can move on without a MAGA and perhaps after Biden wins, the MAGA movement will eventually die off. Who knows, maybe we can have a more constructive conversation at the dinner table someday.

 

FlFi10

Test concert for corona study Experiment at the Tim Bendzko concert: are major events possible again soon? Tim Bendzko at the test concert for science in Leipzig. © Sean Gallup / Getty Images In order to minimize the risk of corona outbreaks, major events are prohibited until at least October. Is it possible to restart […]

via Concert experiment with Tim Bendzko: Are major events possible despite Corona? — Archyde

frage für das forum

In your opinion, do you think concerts in times of Covid-19 are possible these days? If so, what restrictions would be needed and how many people should be allowed in order to make them safe to visit?  Or would you rather wait until a vaccination is created and available for use before you attend the next concert?  Read the story and feel free to comment…….

Have they only got one name for all the cities?

When you drive along the south western part of Denmark right at the coast you come to a series of small towns. When you drive here you might notice a similarity in the name – all the cities seem to be called something including Ballum. There is Ballum in all kinds of shapes and forms […]

Have they only got one name for all the cities?